Charles Herbert Eastlake

British, b.1868, d.1940

Lingering Leaves

  • 1901
  • Oil on canvas
  • Presented by the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1932
  • 970 x 1220 x 70mm
  • 69/514

Between 1900 and 1905 artist Mary Alexandra Bell and her husband Charles Herbert Eastlake undertook residencies at various artist colonies through France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Lingering Leaves comes from this period. In it, Eastlake has completely repressed daylight by locating the sun behind thick woolly clouds. The flatness of light and his earthy palette invite us to slow down and note the pleasure a few notes of autumnal tones and yellow accents can offer the eye.

(Endless Light, 29 June 2019 – 8 March 2020)

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • The Weight of Sunlight, 16 September 2017 - 16 September 2018

    Charles Eastlake’s life as an artist was much defined by travel and relocation. The London-born son of a secretary to a British MP, he studied art in Antwerp and Paris in the 1880s and began exhibiting in London in 1889. From about 1893 he was involved with the St Ives Arts Club in Cornwall, where he met the Canadian artist Mary Alexandra Bell; they married in about 1900. The Eastlakes spent time in artist colonies in France, Belgium and Holland between 1900 and 1905, and also spent several months in New Zealand in 1909 after a family wedding in Wellington (Mary’s brother married a sister of the writer Katherine Mansfield). Lingering Leaves, believed painted in France, was shown in their large joint exhibition with the Canterbury Society of Arts, who purchased the work. As well as being a painter of subdued, lyrical landscapes, Charles – like Mary – became a designer and maker of jewellery and enamels. They moved to Montréal, Canada in 1939 and settled several years later in Almonte, Ontario.

  • It is likely that this work was painted following a visit Charles Herbert Eastlake made to Normandy in France. Lingering Leaves portrays a quiet rural scene. It is a well-composed landscape with the emphasis on the colourful leaves painted with thick impasto.

    Eastlake was essentially a studio landscape painter. By 1895 he was painting at St Ives, Cornwall, with the Newlyn artists who favoured the plein air approach of painting outdoors.

    Little is known about Eastlake’s early life, but he did study in Antwerp and Paris during the 1880s. He began exhibiting with the Royal Society of British Artists from 1889 and the Royal Academy in 1892. He settled in London. Eastlake’s wife, Mary Bell, was the sister of Dr James Mackintosh Bell, Director of the Geological Survey of New Zealand. In 1906, and again in 1909, the couple visited New Zealand, touring a large exhibition of their work during the 1909 visit. In 1939 they emigrated to Canada.

    (Label date unknown)